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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Striking up change

Sunday, July 13, 2008

(Photo)
Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff Bill Cashmere, co-owner of the Sikeston Bowling Center, poses with the smallest and largest pairs of bowling shoes now carried at the Center. Through changes like that, as well as special discount and Glow Bowl nights -- which are lit up in the background -- Cashmere said he hopes to attract more people, especially families, to bowl.
SIKESTON -- Bowling is a sport anyone can participate in -- regardless of how young or old. And whether they are good or not, it's a guaranteed good time, says Bill Cashmere, co-owner of the Sikeston Bowling Center.

"Anybody and everybody can do it," continued Cashmere. "You don't have to be good -- as long as you can get that ball down to the end of the lane."

That's one of the reasons he is encouraging more people to get out and bowl. And changes and upgrades Cashmere is making to the Center, such as a better variety of shoes and Glow Bowling nights will hopefully do that, he said.

"I'm just wanting to spark interest," said Cashmere. "And with the higher gas prices, I think people are looking for something to do locally."

Cashmere is doing even more to help people's pocketbooks. For the rest of the month, the Center is offering summer specials. Tuesday is $1 night, with $1 shoe rentals, games and menu specials. And Wednesday is half price night and is smoke and alcohol-free.

"Hopefully when people get out of church they'll come here," said Cashmere.

He said the Center is well-ventilated so smoke isn't usually an issue. "We try to pride ourselves in keeping a clean place," he said. "But at least now there's one night (the smoke) won't be there."

There are also about 50 new pairs of shoes at the Center, which now come in more sizes, since Cashmere changed companies. Now, children's shoes are available as small as a size 6. And adult shoes can be rented up to a size 20 in men's.

"That's really more of a conversation piece," said Cashmere of the large shoes. "I don't know of very many that would wear them. But if somebody came in that needs them, then we've got them."

Three of the 16 lanes at the Center can be equipped with bumper lanes. Cashmere added that in the next year or so, he hopes to replace the blow-up bumpers with rails, that pop up, to make the Center even more kid-friendly, by preventing children from having gutter balls.

In the next few weeks, Glow Bowling will make its return to the Sikeston Bowling Center.

"I'm putting up more black lights," said Cashmere, adding that he also plans to add another strobe light. "It will make the whole lane glow."

Cashmere noted the Glow Bowl is open to all ages, but no alcohol is sold on those nights, since it's tough to see and he wants to make sure minors don't drink.

"But it's just something different," he said. "We turn the jukebox up as high as it will go and have a good time."

There are quite a few leagues at the Sikeston Bowling Center through the week. "They like the competition," said Cashmere. "And it's just a fun night out with the guys or with the girls."

Also offered at the Center are birthday parties, in which the person the party is for gets a pin. Other groups, such as from schools, are also welcomed.

Pool and other arcade games are also offered in the Center's game room. There is also a concession stand, which Cashmere said has "good variety."

Sikeston Bowling Center is located at 1601 E. Malone in Sikeston. Summer hours are 4 p.m. to close Tuesday through Friday and 1 p.m. to close Saturday, with the Center closed Sunday and Monday. Regular hours, which will come back into effect in mid-August, are 11 a.m. to close Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to close on Sundays. The phone number is 471-2430.